The COVID 19 pandemic is not over. Its adverse impact is still being borne by the industries and individuals. The construction industry is no different and has been affected. From a drop in demand to labor crises, the industry has been facing many hurdles.
Why is it so important?
The construction industry is of paramount importance. Be it the enormous investments pooled or the workforce of millions, the industry is huge. For perspective, 12.74 trillion US Dollars. Yes, the global construction market in 2019 was estimated at this humongous figure.
Now, an industry of this scale is facing hurdles. The thought of a potential ripple effect sends shivers down the spine.
First, we need to note that the construction industry has not evolved at a break-neck speed. Compared to other industries, the potential for automation and digitization is immense. As the industry is traditional, it is bound to face hurdles.
What are the challenges in the construction industry due to COVID 19?
- Labor Trouble
No construction company can survive without labor. It is as fundamental as it gets. The widespread lockdown has propelled mass relocation among the construction workers causing labor shortage. And likewise, no construction services can be offered without manpower.
The pandemic and its associated lockdown have left every construction company handicapped.
Construction industries rely as much on active cashflow, as on upfront capital. For every project is a culmination of many tasks, the importance of working capital grows. With the construction services paused, the cash flow dries up. This furthers into non-payment of wages, salaries, and other financial implications.
- Broken supply chain
Logistics and supply chain is paramount to carry out construction services. With restrictions on travel and transport, logistics is now an underlying issue. Without the movement of materials and prerequisites, there is no scope for construction.
- Additional cost and time
An issue, often being overseen is the plain delay in the construction services. Every construction company is crawling its way back to work at their full capacity. Yet, the delay in construction has resulted in extra costs. All stakeholders must reassess the preliminary costs and estimate the surplus required.
What are the solutions for a construction company?
These are the fundamental challenges; every construction company is facing at the moment. Yet, this profound setback is also an opportunity; one that does not come around often. The construction trends in 2020 require firms to go back to the drawing board.
All challenges in the construction industry are a window for growth.As mentioned earlier, the construction industry is ready for disruption. Likewise, construction trends in 2020 have two purposes. It must solve the immediate issues while staying relevant in the longer run.
- Prioritizing the safety of the workforce
It is a common sight for construction workers to risk their lives on the project site. From scaling heights to hanging from ropes, the element of risk was always present. With the pandemic, the safety of the workforce is the priority.
Following the SOPs, providing adequate safety equipment is a must. This helps in reducing worker turnover.
- Usage of drones
Drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles are being used in construction services. But, their full potential is nowhere near to being tapped. Cost-effective devices can change the way on-site monitoring is done. They provide an aerial oversight of the entire project area. These can also be used as eyes for workers who are reaching hazardous places.
With real-time updates and recording features, drones are a reliable source of information.
- Additive manufacturing and 3D printing
This technology can transform the way construction is done. By using CAD or similar software, minor structures can be printed. These can be placed as and how required. Structures like walls, identical houses, roofs, and others can be printed using these.
This reduces the efforts required to construct buildings.
This can be one of the most efficient construction trends in 2020.
An ideal construction company can leverage this time of adversity. Proper planning and use of newer technology can pave the way forward. By adopting these measures, the immediate challenges can be solved. Given the cost-effectiveness of these measures, they can be relied upon in the longer run.